Tuesday, 13 July 2010
The photograph above shows this morning's mail. It consists of two advertising pamphlets for our M E P; two advertising pamphlets from our local grocery shop; two 'letters' from a double-glazing firm; two letters from a Health Food outlet; three brochures for clothing. That was the sum total of the mail and it weighed thirteen ounces. And it all went, unopened and unread, into the waste paper bin from where it will untimately go into the re-cycling bag - presumably to be recycled into pamphlets, brochures,........need I go on? Nobody I know reads any of this stuff; nobody I know has ever ordered as a result of receiving any of this stuff; everyone I know puts it straight into the bin. I ask you - is it necessary? Is there any way of stopping it?
At lunch time today we had three 'cold' calls - two were completely silent when I lifted the phone - the third was a recorded message of which I heard the first three words - 'Congratulations you have........' at which point I put the phone down. We subscribe to the Telephone Preference Service but it makes little difference. So I ask you again - are these calls necessary? (some will claim that they keep the callers in work); is there any realistic way of stopping them - particularly as they always call at mealtimes?
And a third, much happier and more amusing comment on Communications - this will I am sure make you give a small, gentle, quirky smile.
Beijing is encouraging its inhabitants to learn English phrases in an effort to make Beijing an 'international city'. Last time this happened was at the time of the Beijing Olympics when taxi drivers regularly learned the Chinese words - san ke yu fei li ma chu. These words were meaningless in Chinese but when said quickly (try it) slightly resembled 'thank you very much.'
In The Times there is a list of English translations from the Chinese which have been seen around China and the one I want to share with you is the 'Keep off the grass' sign translated into English on Hainan Island. It reads: 'Do not disturb - tiny grass is dreaming.' Don't you think that is lovely. It sure got rid of my irritations about the first two episodes.